Hello everyone. I know it has been a little while since the last devotional. This has been a combination of the holidays and various computer problems. But enough delays; let us open the Word of God.
And this is the boldness which we have toward Him, that if we ask something following His will, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us if we ask, we know that we have the requests which we asked from Him -MGV
The Greek word “boldness” is a beautiful word. It means “all pouring out”, meaning that nothing is held back. The word is often used in the context often used in the context of speech, as it is here. John has spoken earlier about boldness, and often he referred to be bold in the way that you live your life, as in lacking fear. It is boldness toward the world. But here, John switches and speaks instead of being bold toward God.
Often we think that we cannot be bold before God. After all, He is God, and we are mere mortals who do not deserve to even speak with Him. This is true, but God is concerned with our hearts, and He wants us to go before the throne confidently, and to hold nothing back before His face. Jesus compares praying to God to a widow aggravating a judge until he gave her justice. Abraham even thought it right to question God’s will towards Sodom and Gomorrah, seeking mercy with justice. God wants to hear us.
I think of the many times that I’ve been in stores, and I see children asking things of the parents. Now there is boldness! Imagine a child the size of a footstool demanding a lollipop of her father who is the size of a refrigerator. Why does this child engage in this reckless behavior? Why does she test the patience of one that could crush her in an instant? One whose concerns are far beyond hers, and is far more wise about what is good and right? Simple. She knows that he loves her.
This is what we often forget. God loves us. God does not listen to us because our wisdom rivals His own, or because we can threaten Him in any kind of way. He listens simply because He loves us, and if we ask in all boldness, occasionally He’ll buy us a lollipop. We have not because we ask not.
Yet still, God wants us to grow and mature. A father is far more patient with the whining of screaming of a 4 year old than with a 14 year old. All the wisdom and knowledge that He has He is expecting us to grow in. John talks about praying kata His will. Kata is translated above as “following”, though often it is translated “according to”. This is a rather liberal translation, but I have done so for a reason. Kata can mean that our prayers are based upon His will, but it could also mean that our prayers are facing His will, or turned toward it. I think this latter is more accurate, since we do not know the full will of God. But has we pray, and as we seek Him, we grow in maturity, being conformed to the likeness of His Son. In this process, our prayers move toward His will, has our will becomes more like His.
Therefore, in our prayers, we should be seeking out the will of God. We should be looking toward it, but in boldness. Not simply saying “Lord if it is when in your will”, but saying “Lord I want this!” And if you ask for what you should not have, than you correct your own will, and seek to understand His better.
It is relevant to know that He is listening, as a father listens to a child, not as a king endures the petition of a peasant. Because we know that He does indeed listen, we know that God will give us that which we ask for, given that we are growing in maturity and knowledge. Therefore, I urge you to be bold in your prayers, and do not hold back the rushing waters of your tongue from Him. He can endure it.